David Burns and Maghnus Smyth are two such individuals. Their 2009 Africa Cycle Tour, which saw them riding 17,500 kilometers through 21 countries from South Africa to Ireland, only served to whet their appetite for more challenge and exploration.
Silk Roads, a two-man unsupported journey from Istanbul to Shanghai by riding, running and rafting, is their latest exploit.
The Silk Roads project is in the final planning phase. Here’s what Maghnus has to say about why he’s chosen to embark on this particular adventure:
What are your reasons for embarking upon a particular adventure? Before making a single call, before typing a single email and before spending days obsessing over a seemingly unending to-do list, be sure your motivations are sound. There exists no fool-proof way of knowing that a final decision will be the correct one. However, you can set up your own assessment criteria to balance the odds in your favour. Here is my list;
Does it truly excite me?
Does it scare me?
Will it introduce me to at least one completely new experience?
Will it necessitate huddling around a fire for light, heat or entertainment?
Are periods of solitude likely to occur?
Is there a considerable and sustained physical challenge involved?
Is there a possibility of failure?
Will there be periods of real difficulty?
Will there be periods of real bliss?
And finally, but crucially, would I undertake the expedition if no-one ever knew i did it*?
If I can answer ‘yes’ to all these questions then, at the very least, I will be starting something for reasons I can justify to myself regardless of the outcome. Just as two expeditions are never the same, no two lists should be the same. Be honest about what you want and then be honest in answering your own questions. Success depends as much on the motivation for doing as the doing itself.
Another excellent post you’ll want to check out is David’s Beginner’s Guide to Bicycle Touring.
If you’re in need of a little hard-core bicycle touring inspiration, this site’s for you.
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